On MSNBC this morning, Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York promoted her website, OffTheSidelines.org, as a "campaign" to try to get "more women, Democrats, Republicans, all women, to again, hold their elected leaders accountable, vote, and hopefully run for office." Despite that claim, the website appears to be directly connected to Gillibrand's reelection campaign. Watch the video below:
Here's how OffTheSidelines is described on its own website
Kirsten knows that women who make an impact on our country all start by simply believing they can. Getting off the sidelines is a state of mind. More women need to embrace the fact that their voice matters and that they can make a difference, with their vote, with their advocacy, with their candidacy. More women must get off the sidelines and make a difference in their community. Whether it's in the classroom, the boardroom, Congress or at home, it's crucial that more women adopt this philosophy to affect change in ways both big and small. Because if they don't, decisions will be made without them that they won't like the outcome of. Women have the power to shape the future, it's just a matter of getting off the sidelines and getting involved. That's why Kirsten has launched OffTheSidelines, to make more women aware of the need to be involved in the decisions that affect their lives every day. Kirsten wants to let women know that their voice matters, to give them the resources to start to get more involved and tell the inspiring stories of women who already are.
But OffTheSidelines appears to be nothing more than a gateway site and fundraising tool for the Gillibrand campaign. A disclaimer at the bottom of the page says the site is "paid for by Gillibrand for Senate." The homepage has a prominent link to "Contribute to Gillibrand for Senate," and another link to simply "contribute" leads to a Gillibrand for Senate contribution form.
In a statement today, the New York Republican party challenged Gillibrand to "identify those Republican women whom [sic] benefit, or have benefitted, from Off the Sidelines.org, or simply admit that contributions to the organization go directly to her reelection campaign."
An email to an OffTheSidelines email address listed on the site has not yet been returned.
In the above clip, Gillibrand also incorrectly states that "11 women" are running for Senate this year. While it's true that 11 Democratic women (the 6 incumbents and 5 challengers she mentions) are running for Senate, it's also true that 7 Republican are running, including Gillibrand's own Republican challenger Wendy Long.